Who Runs Your Home?

A self-propelled child is trustworthy.
Self-teaching allows room for the student to operate on his or her own, but obedience and trust go hand in hand when it comes to putting the burden of learning on the shoulders of the student.
If you have been diligently instilling in your child immediate obedience without any questioning, whining, negotiating, or manipulating on his part, then self-teaching will be a breeze!
However, if you struggle daily with your children in the immediate obedience department, you may have some work ahead of you. (But it is doable.)
Do you find yourself giving in to your child’s requests because you know he will not be happy if you do not? Do you repeat yourself several times before your children do what you have asked them to do? Are chores carried out well and done cheerfully? In other words, who runs your home?As parents, we are the ones who are to be in control; giving in to placate a whiny child means that child has just won control, doesn’t it?

It is NOT normal, nor is it a good thing to get anything less than happy obedience from your child the very first time you ask something of him. Delayed obedience is no obedience!

Whining is not allowed in our home. It is a pet peeve of mine, actually. Because we made the effort to raise our four older children to respect mom and dad’s authority without question, now our younger four  naturally  follow  suit.  Our  younger  children  model  the  behavior  of  the  older children, which is not always a good thing Heh heh. We do have our problem areas!

Tim and I are now reaping the benefits of having disciplined the older children in a timely manner when they were young (and when we were young).

I remember many times being pregnant and exhausted and crashed in a heap on the couch, and JUST as I would be about to drop off for a nap, one of my children would do something requiring swift and appropriate discipline. How much easier  it would have been to ignore the behavior than to drag myself off the couch and deal with the situation, but I made a habit of addressing problems as they arose.

Consequently, the children learned that just because I was lying on the couch–whether sick or resting peacefully–they still had to behave. That’s not to say I didn’t ever say, “Hmmmmm…..oh well,” and went back to sleep. There were lazy moments, but they weren’t the norm.

It is true that you reap what you sow. If you sow seeds of enforcing consequences for misbehavior, you will reap happy, obedient children as well as enjoy peace in your home. And eventually you can take a nap without a war breaking out in the family room.

If you have difficulty getting your children to obey you the first time you ask them to do something, you are not alone. Many parents allow this to go on in their homes on a regular basis, and to be honest, I do not know why parents tolerate such behavior. Perhaps because it is easier to tolerate it than to discipline it?

A bit of correction applied as needed can and will create a peaceful home environment.

Important note: it takes BOTH parents coming together and setting expectations for the children, making sure the expectations as well as the rewards are laid out to the offspring. Both parents need to take the initiative to deal with the undesired behavior and backing each other up, making sure rewards and consequences are handed out consistently. Consistency  is key.

One more thought: it is wonderful to live in a peaceful home where rules are followed and everyone gets along. Tim and I were playing cards over at my parents’ place the other night, and in the course of a conversation I made this statement: “You know, I have never heard my kids yell at each other in anger.” They certainly have never yelled or screamed at their parents.

Oh, and if I want kids who don’t yell at each other, I really can’t yell at them, can I?

Our kids don’t fight and argue. They have lively discussions at times, but that is what is going on ~ a discussion. They get silly. They have fun together. They get irritated with each other at times, but out and out fighting and arguing doesn’t happen. Why not? Because the expectation is that they will get along. A LONG time ago we set that expectation with the appropriate disciplinary action if the line was crossed.

Voila! A crazy bunch of kids who are fun to be around! I love, appreciate and respect each one of my offspring, and more than anything I like being in the same house with them.  Currently we have four girls at home, two of them teenagers, plus one who turns 13 next month.

The teenage years ROCK! Mostly because they are old enough make cookies. heh heh.


About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


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